The Mountain Times

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What does shifting funds from Earned Income Credit to a child care subsidy accomplish?

Dear Editor,

Governor Shumlin proposes cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor in order to shift funds to the state's child care subsidy for the working poor. He justifies this transfer as a means of helping the working poor, but the people who will receive less under the EITC are also working poor.

In his recent budget address, the Governor used the example of families making $40,000 per year. Under the current child care subsidy rules, they get a child care subsidy of 10% of the child care costs. The governor noted that, "Those same families under our proposal will have up to 50 cents of every dollar of their childcare expenses paid by the State."

That's great for the family making $40,000 which has one or more children. What about the working poor who are eligible for EITC but have no need for child care? What about the working poor who are eligible for EITC and are so poor that they already get a 100% child care subsidy?

It looks to me like the governor's plan helps some working poor people while hurting other working poor people, and I have no idea how such a plan solves anything. What is the overall effect - who gets helped and who gets hurt, and to what extent are they either helped or hurt? The legislature needs to answer those questions before even considering the Governor's proposal.

Lodiza LePore, Bennington, Vt

Tagged: Letter to the Editor